In the process of composting, microorganisms break down organic matter and produce carbon dioxide, water, heat, and humus,
Under optimal conditions, composting proceeds through three phases: 1) the mesophilic, or moderate-temperature phase, which lasts for a couple of days, 2) the thermophilic, or high-temperature phase, which can last from a few days to several months, and finally, 3) a several-month cooling and maturation phase.
Different communities of microorganisms predominate during the various composting phases. Initial decomposition is carried out by mesophilic microorganisms, which rapidly break down the soluble, readily degradable compounds. The heat they produce causes the compost temperature to rapidly rise. As the temperature rises above about 40°C, the mesophilic microorganisms become less competitive and are replaced by others that are thermophilic, or heat-loving. At temperatures of 55°C and above, many microorganisms that are human or plant pathogens are destroyed. Because temperatures over about 65°C kill many forms of microbes and limit the rate of decomposition, compost managers use aeration and mixing to keep the temperature below this point. During the thermophilic phase, high temperatures accelerate the breakdown of proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates like cellulose and hemicellulose, the major structural molecules in plants. As the supply of these high-energy compounds becomes exhausted, the compost temperature gradually decreases and mesophilic microorganisms once again take over for the final phase of "curing" or maturation of the remaining organic matter.
Composting 101 2016 10-26
GREENs = nitroGen
CarBon = Energy
NitroGen = Protein
Compost Tips for the Home Gardener
Carbon – Browns Nitrogen – Greens
AS PILE TEMPERATURES &
TIME IS NEEDED FOR VARIOUS
MICROORGANISMS TO COLONIZE
Left: (1 year old) Last year’s material all garden stuff, grass & leaves,
kitchen: banana peels veg. trimmings from the pile’s top.
Middle: (2 years old) bottom of this year’s pile put into bags
Right: (3 years old) Finished product from the bags to be used in the
garden & greenhouse this year
GUESS WHERE THIS
COMPOST WAS MADE?